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Commercial Solar Projects Move Forward In Stockton

STOCKTON — The town of Stockton is the latest municipality to look at solar projects in its community.

According to Supervisor Dave Wilson, the town board is in the final stages for approval of two 5-megawatt solar projects on Stockton-Hartfield and Barnes roads, which will sit next to one another. That development is by Seaboard Solar, a Connecticut-based company.

“That one is about 90% approved. There’s just a few little things that are in the town attorney’s hands that they’re working out,” he said.

The main thing is finalizing the decommissioning plan. Once that is in place, Wilson said the company will likely go before the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency to try and get a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes agreement.

Wilson said the town board began interacting with Seaboard Solar in early 2021. He thinks they’ll start construction sometime later this summer or fall.

The next project is for a 5-megawatt solar project on Cassadaga-South Stockton Road (County Road 71) south of Luce Road.

That project is by Saturn Power from Ontario. A public hearing was held on the project May 5. Wilson said there were no complaints about the development. “That one is in the starting stage,” he said.

When asked if the town board is receiving financial compensation for the projects, Wilson replied, “Not much. Not what I think is fair, but that’s just my opinion,” he said.

Wilson said the town will receive payments over the next 25 years, but he wasn’t sure of the exact amounts because it hasn’t gone before the county IDA yet.

The county IDA generally doesn’t issue PILOT agreements until the local municipality has given its final approval. Since 2020, the IDA approved tax agreements for solar projects in Portland, Hanover, Harmony, Sheridan, Pomfret and the town of Chautauqua. This year the IDA also gave a PILOT for a major solar project in South Ripley. That project is 270 megawatts, compared to the other ones which are 5 megawatt or smaller.

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